Friday, June 02, 2023

Why I'm indifferent about an Oasis comeback


Talk in music circles right now is thick with speculation that an Oasis reunion concert - or tour, might be on the cards.

The relative success of Blur getting together has put it out there again, and in the course of promoting his new solo album Council Skies, Noel Gallagher has been in a reflective mood. 

Separated from his second wife, he’s open about finding life in his 50s tough and has felt he's been going downhill compared to the wild times of his earlier years.

He’s called out his young brother’s Twitter posturing and invited him to call it on. He’s said he’s free around the back end of next year, but doesn't think Liam could stomach being in the same room as him.

Some people even think this is just a cynical bit of marketing and that the deal is already sealed.

If they reformed, the question you inevitably find yourself asking is - would you go?

It’s made me try and reconcile a few random and contradictory thoughts I have about them.


In the 1990s I supported them, bizarrely, in the same way I instinctively supported Blackburn Rovers, New Labour and England for Euro 96 - and what a decade that was. In the Britpop war I was Team Oasis over Blur any day of the week. Maybe it was being a Northerner in the south at the time.

A couple of weeks ago on the show we played some early Blur and it’s brilliant. That whole confected row with Blur was idiotic, probably rooted in a desire to endlessly punch Alex James in the face, which is understandable. But you have to say Blur have played the better hand over the years.

At the time Oasis felt edgier. Those first two Oasis albums were blisteringly good. They captured a time and had an incredible energy, the concerts in this country were the closest experience I'd had to what The Jam created from 1978-1982.

Yet for me, one of their best songs is on their rotten third album, All Around The World on Be Here Now.

Even then you could imagine sitting down and having a drink with Noel and rather enjoying it. Not so with Liam.

But for all of the attempts in some of that more expansive third album, as a band they never really moved on. You could play each subsequent album to a man from planet Zarg and they'd never place them in evolutionary order. 

I contrast that with, say, the Arctic Monkeys who although the indie lads in bucket hats will have enjoyed the recent concerts, they have transformed in every way.

Part of me just wants to hold on to cherished memories. I saw Oasis at their blistering best in 1996 in San Francisco. Then a few weeks later in Cardiff headlining with the Manics in support. It was electric.

Back then I thought Noel would ditch his simian brother and do bigger and better things with his pals like Paul Weller and Ocean Colour Scene. That said Echo Round the Sun on Weller's 22 Dreams is the worst track - and Noel's on it - and I don’t think Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have ever really cut it.

Council Skies has had good reviews and I don't hate it.

The other thing that saddens me about the Gallaghers is how they've turned their backs on Manchester, which is a shame. Mick Hucknall's millions are invested in the city. Where are the Gallaghers?

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